As an Algebra 1 teacher at my high school I see a wide variety of anxieties regarding my content area. This anxiety has a detrimental effect on student performance, particularly as students need to use their working memory for increasingly complex math situations (Foley et al. 2017). I really wanted to know where this math … Continue reading Math Anxiety
When I was is school, I was on the 'right track'. I took the advanced classes throughout, and ended up with my pick of schools by the time I graduated. Yet I did not choose the path of doctor, engineer, or lawyer, or any other highly paid 'successful' career. I deliberately chose to be a … Continue reading Why Teaching?
I have been working at addressing a wicked problem in my classroom for the last 3 and a half weeks or so. The difficulty with wicked problems is that there is no final solution. This is particularly evident in a classroom, where each of your students has their own needs and strengths. So solving my … Continue reading Solving Wicked Problems
Well, the survey does not say as much as I would like it to yet. I created a survey to get feedback from my colleagues about how to solve my wicked problem, making math more meaningful in my classroom. So far I have 17 complete answers. For context, there are 44 teachers at my school. This … Continue reading The Survey says…
We all have those problems of practice in our classrooms that we aim to tackle each year. Last year I took aim at: getting students to practice more. This year I am looking at a more thoughtful problem: making math more meaningful for my Algebra 1 students. What is meaningful math? I have students asking … Continue reading Surveying the Problem
If you have not heard of sketch notes, they are a fascinating multi-modal way to take notes, combining the verbal or written with the visual. I have explored this a little bit with the awesome Doodle Notes from Math Giraffe, but never in video form. So when given the chance to explore making a sketch … Continue reading Sketchnote sketchiness!
I don't usually think that much about questions. Given that I spend most of my time answering questions, and teaching others to answer questions, as a math teacher, that seems like an odd situation. I probably should spend more time thinking about questions. What questions are meaningful? What kinds of questions do I want my … Continue reading All About Questions
Ill-structured problems are problems whose variables change, and whose solutions vary greatly. A high school classroom is full of ill-structured problems. As teachers we are constantly trying to find out what works best in our classrooms, to help students be as successful as possible. Recently, I took a deeper look at helping students with anxiety. Although … Continue reading An Ill-structured problem: helping students with anxiety
When I realized that my CEP 811 class, properly titled Adapting Innovative Technology to Education, was going to be all about the Maker Movement I was both excited and worried. I had been hearing things about the Make Movement, and Makerspaces, and the primary program in my district was getting a big Maker roll-out about … Continue reading CEP 811 Final Reflection
It can be a lot of fun to find a new technique or innovative lesson to your classroom. You can already imagine how the students will enjoy it, maybe how it will challenge their thinking and push their understanding further. You may eagerly show it to your colleagues, your principal, then the reality of teaching … Continue reading Assessing Creativity